Hairstyles to suit different Face Shapes

 Published on Bridal Hair Academy News

Creating the perfect hairstyle, tailored specifically to each individual’s wants and needs may seem like a daunting task at times, but there are a few key points that you can follow to make the decisions you make MUCH easier! The first (and, arguably, most important) step is: Face shape.


So, why is face shape so important? Everyone is different, we know that; but as a general rule, going by one of the 9 shapes that we are about to go over will help you determine if the person in question should have an up or down do, long or short, curly or straight and when it comes to cutting or clip-ins, the all important fringe! The aim of great hair styling is to enhance our best features, whilst subtly disguising aspects that we perhaps feel less confident about and this will help you do just that. The oval is the most ‘forgiving’ of all the shapes and looks great with most styles, so quite often it’s good to go for techniques that give the illusion of an oval face, whatever the shape might really be.


How do we determine face shape? Most commonly, people consider their face shape to be ‘round’ whether or not that is true. A great tip to finding out your true face shape is to pull back your hair, take an eye or lip liner pencil and draw around the outline of your face. This way, you will clearly see what you are actually working with!


Now lets talk about what these different shapes actually mean:





Heart shaped faces, as you might imagine, have a broader forehead and a more pointed chin and so the goal here is just to even those two aspects up a bit!

Chin length hair is the best choice for cuts and styling as this will draw more attention to the chin and create a wider appearance. Fringes also work great with this shape especially if the ‘heart’ shape is quite prominent. Be sure to avoid too much height or volume as this will only throw things off balance!

Click for Red Carpet examples: Heart faceshapes




So the goal here is to slightly lengthen the face to give that illusive ‘Oval’ appearance. To achieve this, add some volume at the crown for height and opt for a style that remains below chin length. Centre parts will only widen the face and so always stick to an off centre or side part with this shape. As a general rule, heavy fringes are not ideal here BUT this does largely depend on the individual. What are their facial proportions like? Do they have a short forehead or a larger one? Do they feel exposed without one?  Perhaps you could try a sweeping side fringe rather than a block one. Talking about personal preference is integral to achieving the perfect style.


Click for Red Carpet examples: Round faceshapes




For rectangle face shapes, we want to shorten the face rather than lengthen it, so long down ‘dos are a no, no as that will only drag the face down. Instead, opt for medium to short length with a fringe to bring those features a bit closer together.

Up ‘dos and anything with added volume works great here, as do side swept vintage styles. Try adding curls rather than keeping the hair straight, as this will  create a softer edge.


Click for Red Carpet examples: Rectangle Faceshape




Much like the Oval shape, Diamonds are also a girl’s best friend!

As one of the most sought after shapes, you can get away with all sorts of different styles with this one, however, you do want to be careful not to emphasise the angles and narrow areas too much, which can happen if you have too much hair pushed forward around the face. People with diamond shaped faces tend to have fantastic bone structure, so pull it back and flaunt those gorgeous cheekbones and that elegant jawline. Why not try drawing it back on one side with a deep side parting and curls tumbling over the shoulder. This gives the best of both worlds, showing off that bone structure, whilst softening t the same time. Up dos also look fab, but try pulling out a few strategic strands to the front to soften features. As for partings – the world’s your oyster! Most will look great, it just depends on your preference.


Click for Red Carpet examples: Diamond Faceshape




The most versatile of the lot! The options for the Oval face shape are pretty much endless be it up, down, curled, straight…you name it! However, the choices you make should largely depend on the face’s ratio and feature positioning of the individual, so always make sure that you tailor to suit.

The joy of the Oval face shape, is that because there are no harsh angles at any point, there is no need to worry about offsetting any particular part of the face with a misplaced parting or loose strand.  This means that you can have some fun with those more ‘relaxed’ up dos, such as the messy bun or poufs, without having to worry too much about things looking out of proportion!

Heavy, side swept fringes look great with this shape, especially when teamed with extra volume. Avoid over crowding the face, but other than that, just play around and style depending on other circumstantial factors – what’s the occasion? What will the outfit be? How tall is the person in question? Do you want to include accessories? All of these are important things to remember when designing the perfect hairstyle.


Click for Red Carpet examples: Oval Faceshape




Oblong faces tend to have wonderful cheekbones – something we definitely don’t want to hide! However, they do tend to be quite long, so the aim generally is to widen a little rather than drag down. Volume and curls are a must for this – straight hair will rarely be flattering. Retro curls are probably the best option as they tend to make everything look round and bouncy. Wide waves are even better and having the hair side swept over one shoulder will broaden the face as ears add width! So why not try out some real Hollywood glam with this great look?! Add a pair of gorgeous, dangly earrings as well to draw out the facial silhouette.


Click for Red Carpet examples: Oblong Faceshape




The best of all face shapes for the ultimate cute, pixie cut and generally any short styles that frame the temple area as well as more voluminous styles with some gorgeous framing layers.

Avoid any off centre styles and instead aim to restore equilibrium.

Up dos with height are great for balancing out a narrow forehead and half up dos with beautiful, soft layers falling forward (above chin length so as not to emphasise!) to create a demure frame are even better.  For shorter styles, stick with an off-centre zig-zag or side parting to create height and give your face a longer appearance. For longer styles, try a rough centre parting (a very straight part might be a little too harsh) to assist layers in falling around your face.


Click for Red Carpet examples: Triangle faceshapes




The inverted triangle shape is exactly the same as triangle – just flipped upside down! So this time, we have a wide forehead and pointed chin.

This is actually a really cute face shape that works particularly well with half up half down dos, as this will give the illusion of a more narrow forehead, and widen up your cheekbones and jawline. It also looks great with or without a fringe (depending on whether or not you want to hide or flaunt the forehead area), but I would avoid heavy, blunt fringes as this will potentially make your chin appear more pointy!

Stay away from long and straight styles as this will only elongate your face and make it appear narrow. Instead, try styles with wavy texture, volume and layers with an off centre parting. Chignons, pony tails and buns also all work fantastically well, especially with some added twists and braids.


Click for Red Carpet examples: Inverted Triangle




Last but not least, the Square. This face shape has really lovely, strong bone structure, which can either be flaunted with a pulled back up do or concealed.

Fringes are great for instantly softening the edges of a square face, but avoid anything too heavy as this may make the jaw appear more angular. Try a more light and choppy straight cut fringe or something long and sideswept is even better. Soft layers and waves also work wonders for diffusing harsh edges as do centre partings with framing layers. Keep your styles as soft and relaxed as possible, keeping things loose rather than too structured. This will help to create the illusion of rounded corners!


Click for Red Carpet examples: Square faceshapes



So there you have it, your basic guide to the 9 main face shape groups that you will be likely to encounter. But remember, more important than any of this information is PERSONAL PREFERENCE. If you are styling someone elses hair, talk to them. Find out what THEY think their best and worst features are; find out if they have any hang ups that want to cover up or if there is anything they really want to bring out. Do they hate their ears? Better find that out before working on a pulled back up do! Do they love their pointed chin? Good to know before you go ahead and create the illusion of width! Communication really is key to designing the perfect style. Everyone is unique, after all!